"How will these firms harvest and monetize data they collect on our transactions? What criteria will they use to decide who is removed from the platform? How will they ensure that payment systems adhere to consumer protections? Will Big Tech giants have an incentive to impede the entry of new firms seeking to offer competitive products and services?"
On October 28, 2021, the recently confirmed Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Rohit Chorpa, testified in front of the House Financial Services Committee as part of a semi-annual review of the agency.
In his opening statement, Chorpa told the gathered representatives that the CFPB had ordered several big tech companies to turn over their data.
"I am very, very worried, as many in the regulatory community have been, about Big Tech taking more control of the U.S. Dollar," he said in response to a question from Oklahoma Representative Frank Lucas.
"Many of us have no transparency whatsoever about how platforms decide to kick people off the platforms, and we have no transparency at all into a number of other issues," Chorpa added.
The agency announced the orders to companies, PayPal (parent company of Venmo), Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Square, a week before the Congressional hearing.
According to this press release, the CFPB is specifically requesting information with regard to data harvesting and monetization, access restriction and user choice, and other consumer protections.
At the hearing, Chorpa told the committee, "I think safeguarding our nation's payment system is so critical to our economy, it's critical to small businesses, its critical to our national security. And I want to make sure that payment system is vibrant and serving everyone."